Weiner vowed not to resign, though he agreed to comply with an ethics investigation into whether or not his actions violated House rules. Whatever the outcome of that investigation, his behavior certainly violated the trust placed in him by his constituents in Brooklyn and Queens.
For that reason, Weiner should call it quits.
He claims he corresponded with his female fans using his private Blackberry and laptop computer, a fact he says proves he did not abuse his office. Assuming this is true, it ignores a larger, more troubling point.
It’s clear from the reports of his misconduct that Weiner spent time during working hours - when he is being paid for his service by the tax-paying public - sending and receiving sexually charged messages using Twitter and Facebook. (The graphic photos, it appears, were sent at night.)
So who cares what phone or computer he used?
What matters most is the fact that he took the time to do so when he should have been working exclusively as a representative for the people on tough issues ranging from unemployment to the rising costs of Medicare.
Do constituents really want the people charged with solving their greatest problems taking time from their workday to engage in such activity?
That kind of ridiculous, distasteful behavior dishonors the creditability of Congress, and is deeply disrespectful to the communities Weiner represents.
By the standards of modern sexual scandals in politics, Weiner’s is a relatively minor affair that apparently did not break any laws. But other officials caught in sex scandals have had the good grace to step down - even before their actions were formally investigated - in a sign of respect for the importance of their office.
That Weiner, so far, refuses to do so is further evidence of the brash, over-confident character traits that got him into this mess in the first place.
Suggesting Weiner should resign might be the hard-line position to take, but it’s the right, fair, non-partisan one, considering the previous transgressions of other public servants in this state and around the country.
Because Weiner is Weiner, he’ll fight tooth and nail to hang in there. His hallmark tenacity is one of the reasons he blazed such a lighting fast trail through city and national politics. It’s one of the many reasons why he had the potential to be an excellent mayor of New York, a dream that now may never be realized.
He deserves credit for taking full responsibility for his actions. Everyone makes mistakes. And perhaps if he removes himself from the public spotlight for a few years, people will forgive and forget and he might be able to make that 2012 run for mayor after all.